Often times when law enforcement stops a person suspected of a DUI, they will ask the person to conduct Field Sobriety Tests (FSTs). These tests can include the one leg stand, following the tip of a pen with your eyes (HGN test), the walk and turn, and other tests to determine if you are intoxicated. Knowing what to do when an officer asks you to perform these tests can be very important and make a huge difference in the outcome of your overall case.
Here are some things to know if you are ever stopped for suspicion of DUI and asked to perform any FSTs. First, contact the Rosenstein Law Group and talked to a qualified attorney before making any decisions. Tell the officer that you would like to speak with an attorney before doing anything else, and call us. We have multiple qualified attorneys who are on standby anytime you need us. Second, it is not wise to perform any FST for law enforcement. It is a common misconception that you should perform a FST if asked by police officers. This is absolutely false. In reality, it is highly recommended in most cases that you decline to perform the FST.
How should police approach field sobriety tests?
According to the Institute of Police Technology and Management (IPTM) website, there are several training areas police are required or recommended to follow, in order to protect the driver’s rights and safety regarding field sobriety tests, also referred to as physical sobriety tests. These include:
- Get proper training to perform the test and interpret the results according to the law
- Be consistent in testing procedures and questions when addressing drivers. Do not deviate from the field sobriety test procedure from one driver to the next.
- Double-check on whether the driver may have a physical disability which may prevent an accurate assessment of the test interpretation or results.
- Never put the driver in physical danger while administering the test.
Arizona law regarding blood alcohol concentration
In Arizona, you can be convicted of a DUI for having a blood alcohol content above one eight hundredths, or by being intoxicated to the slightest degree. The reason that law enforcement asks you to perform a FST is to gather evidence against you to prove that you are impaired to the slightest degree. By agreeing to participate in the tests, you are assisting law enforcement in building a case against you, to prove that you are impaired to the slightest degree.
There are inaccuracy’s and human error that come into taking and observing FSTs. This is why it is generally not wise to participate when asked to do so by an officer. Remember, if you find yourself pulled over for DUI, first thing to do is request to speak with an attorney and call the Rosenstein Law Group by calling (480) 248-7666. Also remember, you probably should NOT consent to performing any FST, no matter how pressured you feel from law enforcement. In general, it is not wise to assist law enforcement with collecting evidence against you, and it is your constitutional right to refrain from doing so.